My name Paige! I attend Texas State for social work in hopes of specializing with crisis intervention and substance abuse in national and international communities after I graduate! I was born and raised in Houston Texas as a strict Christian but I’m quite the opposite of that now. I’m 18 years old and skipped a grade! I love animals and have a few critters myself. I have a pixie frog (aka a HUGE frog), ball python, leopard geckos here soon, and a cat, and a dog! Social work is my passion but helping animals is definitely second to it :). I grew up with my mom being a veterinarian, and so from around 7 I got to watch and help animals be microchipped or spayed/neutered. I saw how she helped animals and it came back on me. I foster animals every month, mostly cats, but I’ll take in almost anything that someone reaches out to me to help with. I’ve raised baby owls, squirrels, a dove, a pigeon, possums, and so many more! I plan to keep doing this as a social worker if I have the time! My dad also worked internationally, and so I did not go to a traditional high school but I did online school in order to travel with him! I got exposed to so many cultural communities and decided I wanted to keep learning and getting exposed to new cultures and ideas, and so with social work I got incorporate that into it!

What inspires you everyday?

What inspires me every day is a fantastic friend I used to look up to, Xavier, who passed away this past year from suicide. He was like a mentor for me and always cared and loved others. I wouldn’t be here today if he didn’t step in and help me from a developing cocaine addiction. I got addicted to it so quickly, and he saw how downhill I was going, and without even telling me where he was sending me, he brought me into the AA and the recovery community, where I was able to get sober from cocaine. It was incredibly hard, but he made sure I had the resources I needed at the time in such a loving way. I was and still am so inspired by the kind of person he was, and I consider him to have saved my life. No one could ever be him, but I owe my inspiration and passion in helping others to him. I want to give back and help others in the way that he helped me.

What is some words of wisdom you live by?

Some words of wisdom I live by would be that I wasn’t put on this earth to convince anybody of my worth, and that the ones who deserve me will make me feel appreciated and not ever ashamed of who I am.

What does love mean to you?

Love to me means putting someone else before yourself. When I think of love I think of not just relationships but compassion, friendships, family, and even my pets. I think love is just taking turns being there for each other when needed and wanting what’s best for them unselfishly always.

What is a positive message you would like to share with others?

No matter what situation you’re in where you feel like you don’t fit in, do not EVER change who you are to accommodate to society. Never lose your individuality ever.

Last question how do you feel about life?

After the death of Xavier I honestly hated life for months. I was so incredibly angry and hurt at the universe. I always believed everything happens for until that happened, and I started questioning my values a lot. After time though when I was healing I started realizing some things, and I felt like the universe was speaking to me. Everyone who also loved him reached out to me and created this beautiful community for support. 15 of my friends came to my house, and we all sat in a circle and talked about him. We cried and hugged each other and I don’t think I had seen something more beautiful. There was so much love and connection At that moment. Also, I was cried on my patio that December. Our last conversation had to do with me wanting a monarch butterfly tattoo and why butterflies are meaningful to me. A monarch came and landed on me, it was December. It was not butterfly season. I hadn’t even seen a butterfly in my area in years. The universe sent me those signs and other -signs that I was going to be ok. And ever since then I found peace and love in my life that tells me it’s ok, and that he’s ok. I’ve connected even more than ever with my spirituality, and as long as I keep my trust into the universe, life will be a beautiful thing.

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